Spreading Holiday Cheer, Bicycle Advocacy Style

For cyclists in Wisconsin, there were exciting modifications to some bicycling-specific state laws as Governor Scott Walker signed AB265 last week. The new set of regulations, nicknamed the "Bicycle Tune-Up Bill," was introduced by Representative Keith Ripp (R) and drew bi-partisan support.

New hand signals
Image: www.bfw.org

The Bicycle Tune-Up Bill addressed several antiquated laws, including regulations regarding hand signaling and rear reflectors.

Previously in Wisconsin and in many other areas, cyclists were required to use the same hand signals as motorists, signaling only with the left arm. While these various left-sided gestures may have been logical when more automobile operators relied on manual signals, the reality of riding on the road today is that many drivers are not familiar with these good ol' fashioned signals. To avoid the risk of confusing motorists, pedestrians and other cyclists, riders may now use the appropriate arm to indicate right and left turns in Wisconsin.

Cyclists in Wisconsin can also now ditch the red rear reflector if they choose to add a flashing or steady red rear light. Reflectors used to be required on bicycles regardless of the addition of a more visible rear light, but the new regulations allow cyclists to remove the reflector as long as there is a red light added in its place.

There are a few other interesting updates included in the Bicycle Tune-Up Bill, including changes to passing regulations and the usage of studded bike tires (previously illegal, studded tires are now permitted on bicycles). Learn more about AB265 and the bi-partisan group that worked to pass the bill from the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, and let us know what you think about these changes.

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